Mental processes during repetitive work

FarmerJamie

Mr. Sensitive
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
9,215
Reaction score
15,392
Points
393
With our recent adventures in canning, it became obvious the wife and I have vastly different styles for mentally handling dull, repetitive, and truthfully, boring tasks. It got me wondering.

In my past, all the way back as a youngin, using a portable radio, Walkman, or radio headphones (dating myself here) never really caught on for me. Lots of mowing, gardening, and farm tractor time found me, more often than not, sans electronic noise. Carried through my adulthood. Even driving long distances now, I never have the radio on when alone.

The wife, no matter what she's doing, has some sort of sounds going, even if it's a 10 minute drive to the store. I am not complaining or being disparaging, just noting the difference.

Let's face it, a lot of what we do on our places IS repetitive, monotonous, and most likely boring. I find myself being able to completely zone out mid task and keep on plugging. Part of it as an adult is good because my brain is going nonstop at work and it allows my thoughts to meander directionless for a while.

What say you on how you mentally approach your tasks?
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220517-193926_Chrome.jpg
    Screenshot_20220517-193926_Chrome.jpg
    47.7 KB · Views: 144
Last edited:

frustratedearthmother

Sustainability Master
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Messages
20,348
Reaction score
22,038
Points
453
Location
USDA 9a
There have been times in the past when I have been tasked with what I call mindless labor. Not that it's less important in any way - it's just that you don't need to think about it. Stuffing envelopes... crochet... things you can accomplish while using your mind in other areas. I can crochet and read a book - turning pages is a challenge, lol. When I was employed I could stuff envelopes and proctor exams.

These days I enjoy not needing to multi task. Riding the tractor is a great time to let the mind run amok. Day-dreaming is underrated in my opinion. DH always has his phone in his pocket and his ear buds in his ears. I don't even own any ear buds and there is zero music on my phone.
 

Alaskan

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
1,123
Reaction score
3,156
Points
185
Location
Kenai Peninsula
I love silence, and I find mindless repetitive tasks soothing.

I can then have my mind go every which way... or think through whatever.

Other people look at me funny... when I say that I happily, by choice, do a multiple hour drive without music or books on tape etc.

It must though, be a "way my mine works" thing, and not just a "people now-a-days have too many electronics" because, "back in the day" there were both types.

Thinking back... there were some family members that could NOT sit in the car in silence. If there was no music, then we HAD to be talking or playing some game.

Interesting differences.
 

flowerbug

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
6,046
Reaction score
11,447
Points
297
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
i don't need music or the tv on all the time. Mom usually does, so now when i get a chance for quiet i'll take that over the others. since i've lived here we've arranged things to our mutual happiness. i really do not like any noise in the morning when i'm first waking up so she's ok with not having the music on until after i've been awake a while. since i sometimes play music for her from my computer i can start playing some things but it often happens that i won't turn it on until 8:30 or more commonly after 9am. if i know the music well enough i can ignore it - newer music to me is something i listen to for enjoyment and that is a focused task for me where i don't like to be interrupted by other things or doing other things.

if i'm outside there are the birdies, wind chimes or just random sounds going on. i tend to tune them out and think about something i've read or wonder what a friend might be up to or try to come up with a better way of doing a task or to plan how to accomplish a goal. i also do some what-if modelling about possible futures and actions i might need to take.

i'm quite happy on long car trips to not play music. if Mom is with me we'll talk here or there or tell stories and once in while put on some music.

i do like reading but i've never really liked audio books.

gardening is often fun enough for me, even if it is weeding, sometimes i will not weed as fast as i can because i'm enjoying the time. i'll have my ground pillow with me to sit on and i'll watch bugs or examine a plant's root structure.

we do have some sayings here that also are fun for me, one of them is "Don't look down!" pretty much because no matter where you are you can find weeds or things to do if you are looking down. it's just a joke. i don't have trouble keeping busy and there is always plenty to do here, it's just a matter of picking what i want to do and also dealing with whatever comes up in season as we go along.

right now it is weeding and getting ready for planting season, but between the weather, holidays, family things and unplanned times off (injuries, projects, visits, etc.) i can usually only count on so much time per week and hope to get everything done on time. sometimes i don't and i have to work around it. just the way it goes. :)

i don't think it wrong for people to need different things, but you do need to talk to each other and find ways to compromise to get along sometimes and i'm always willing to meet some people part-ways. of course there are some things that aren't really acceptable to me and that's good to know too so you can figure out if you're compatible with someone else pretty quickly. observing and listening...
 

JanetMarie

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
548
Reaction score
1,078
Points
192
Location
SW Michigan
Working outside I prefer to listen to everything related to non-people noises (which is very minimal here), and let my mind wander.

A long time ago I had a job that part of it was sitting and making chenille patches for letter jackets, which was very boring. I made cassettes to listen to as a way to study medical terminology.
 

FarmerJamie

Mr. Sensitive
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
9,215
Reaction score
15,392
Points
393
I don't have words for the mental release I have now working my little plot. Hearing the birds, listening to the wind blowing through the trees, even the sound of the water soaking into the dirt as I water the plants. Or even the sound of the watering can filling with water from the rain barrels provided by the church next to their pavilion.

A flood of fond memories my life. I can't describe the emotion
 

Latest posts

Top